Prosecutor takes pay cut in transfer to new post promoting diversity, inclusion

Prosecutor takes pay cut in transfer to new post promoting diversity, inclusion

Gail P. Hardy will take a pay cut when she is replaced as Hartford state’s attorney and moves to a new job as executive assistant to Chief State’s Attorney Richard J. Colangelo Jr., with a mission he has described as fostering “diversity and inclusion in the Division of Criminal Justice.”

Colangelo told the Journal Inquirer Wednesday that Hardy, Connecticut’s first black state’s attorney, will make a little more than $151,000 per year in her new job as executive assistant state’s attorney.

He said she would receive no additional financial compensation, other than possibly longevity pay. Hardy has worked for the state for 36 years, 24 of them in the Division of Criminal Justice, including 13 as Hartford state’s attorney.

In her current job as state’s attorney, her “projected annual salary” is listed on the state comptroller’s “Open Payroll” site as $163,292, although the site shows that she actually made $165,347 in 2019.

Hardy withdrew her application for reappointment as the Hartford state’s attorney on Monday afternoon while the state Criminal Justice Commission was deliberating behind closed doors at the end of a meeting that occupied parts of two days on her reappointment and that of Waterbury State’s Attorney Maureen T. Platt.

Hardy had come under fire for years-long delays in completing reports on four incidents in which police officers killed civilians. In all four cases, she found the police use of force to be lawful and justified.

Hours after Hardy withdrew her application, Colangelo announced her appointment as executive assistant state’s attorney. He told the Journal Inquirer that he made the job offer Monday morning, after Friday’s first day of the reappointment hearing but before Monday’s session, during which a number of members of the public spoke for and against Hardy’s reappointment.

Colangelo added that he had discussed the possibility of the new job with her previously “to see if she had an interest in it.”

He said there are currently three executive assistant state’s attorneys and that Hardy will be the fourth.

He said the state Division of Criminal Justice, which includes the chief state’s attorney’s office and the 13 regional state’s attorney’s offices, has 486 approved positions and that it is up to him to determine how those positions are allocated among offices.

He said the executive assistant state’s attorneys’ positions are non-union and not subject to civil service rules, adding that there is no requirement for an open interviewing process to choose the people who hold the jobs.

“I have the ability to appoint,” he said.

Colangelo said there is a “critical need” for the diversity work that will be assigned to Hardy. He said part of her job will be to create a community engagement board consisting of four groups — faith leaders; educators, including representation of kindergarten through eighth grade education, high school, and college; social services workers; and youth.

He said the plan is for officials to meet with each of those groups once a month.

“It’s not like a no-show job,” he said of Hardy’s new position.

Colangelo said that when he was state’s attorney for the Stamford-Norwalk Judicial District, a job he held until he was appointed chief state’s attorney in January, he had a community engagement board.

Hardy has agreed to stay on as Hartford state’s attorney until her successor is chosen.

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